BTR News Build to Rent (BTR)

Developer signs contract with Grainger for BTR scheme at Exchange Square

Developer, Nikal signs the final contract with Grainger plc during lockdown to deliver 375 Build to Rent apartments at Exchange Square in Birmingham.

The final contract has been signed to deliver 375 Build to Rent apartments at Exchange Square in Birmingham – Grainger’s new development. Designed by Stephenson Studio, the development is opposite HS2 Curzon Birmingham. The forthcoming arrival of HS2 Curzon Birmingham means that Exchange Square will become an important visual landmark, welcoming hundreds of thousands of people to the city every day. 

“We are delighted to progress on our Exchange Square development, our second Build to Rent scheme in Birmingham. The Exchange Square location makes it attractive and convenient for renters in the city, and we look forward to seeing this landmark scheme progress.”

Andrew Saunderson, Director of Investments, Grainger

The formal completion of the agreement includes the appointment of design and build specialist McAleer & Rushe as main contractor. Works start on site this week, with completion scheduled for summer 2023.

“This deal is a huge vote of confidence for the BTR sector and for Birmingham. Nikal is emerging as a key delivery partner for this sector and Grainger is continuing to curate one of the best institutional grade rental portfolios in the country.”

James Mannix, Head of Residential Development, Knight Frank

Exchange Square’s Phase 2 is the next phase in Nikal’s dynamic £350m urban village. Phase 1 included 603 Build to Rent apartments across three buildings of seven, fourteen and twenty-seven storeys, which was completed last November.

The first stage of works on the last phase of this development include Grainger’s Build to Rent development and half-an-acre of new public realm – known as Exchange Square.

The second stage will deliver a 15-storey, 235-bed Premier Inn Hotel and 6,000 sq ft Bar+Block Steakhouse Restaurant – both pre-let to Whitbread. There will also be a further 7,500 sq ft of high-quality retail space.

“We’re so proud of what we have achieved to date in Birmingham. We started with dreams and derelict land, and to see ambitions transformed into thriving busy communities that people can call home is why we do what we do.”

Nick Payne, Co-founder and MD, Nikal 

Nikal has been a major contributor to modern Birmingham since 2003, after being awarded the opportunity to regenerate ‘Masshouse Plot 7’; a site created by the removal of Masshouse Circus, the ‘concrete collar’ ring road that was restricting the expansion of Birmingham’s city core. 

In 2005, Nikal began the delivery of 350 apartments across two buildings, Masshouse Plaza and The Hive. Exchange Square followed after Nikal agreed a £105m forward funding deal with La Salle Investment Management. 

At the time, the deal was ground breaking, marking the first time an institutional fund had forward funded a Build to Rent development of this scale outside of London. It acted as a catalyst for other PRS development in the city.

“This next chapter in our Masshouse story is our most ambitious to date, and we could not have asked for a better partner in this project than Grainger.

“Their foresight, passion and dedication to creating a sense of place and community, while providing high quality homes for all, is admirable. We are looking forward to working with them to deliver Exchange Square Phase 2 in Birmingham.”

Nick Payne, Co-founder and MD, Nikal 

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